Excerpt from: Cloudflare
Cloudflare turns seven years old today. We launched on September 27, 2010.
It was only a few days after our launch that we got our first request to support video streaming. Yet, until today, we’d avoided it.
Why? Simply put: the video streaming market is screwed up. While there’s a lot of money spent on video, there are only really about 1,000 customers that do any meaningful level of streaming.
This is in large part because it’s technically far too complicated. If you want to move beyond just uploading your videos to a consumer service like YouTube, then you have to use at least three different services. You need someone to encode your video into a streamable format, you need someone else to act as the content delivery network delivering the bytes, and you need someone else still to provide the player code that runs on the client device. Further, since video encoding standards keep evolving and vary across generations of devices, it becomes challenging to ensure a consistently high quality experience for all visitors.
And if that sounds like a technical mess, the business side is even worse. Encoding companies charge based on CPU usage, which is driven by the length and quality of the video and the number of streaming formats it’s converted into. Traditional CDNs then charge different rates for each region of the world based on the number of bytes delivered. Finally, player vendors charge at tiered levels based on the number of views.